Blogger Interview: The Decorated Cookie!

Hi, ya’ll! Courtney here, back for another blogger interview! I’m interviewing one of my favorite bloggers – Meaghan Mountford of The Decorated Cookie. She’s also the author of the FABULOUS book, Sugarlicious! This book is adorable + a total must-have for every baker. Read on to learn all about Meaghan + her blog!

http://thedecoratedcookie.com/

1. What inspired you to first launch The Decorated Cookie?

“I had been a cookie decorator at a shop outside Washington DC for ten years (Bundles of Cookies). When I left there in 2007 to stay home with my daughter, I started a home-based business selling cookie decorating kits I designed, called “Chic Cookies.” I started the decorated cookie as a platform to sell the cookie decorating kits. Well, the blogging took over and grew bigger as the business shrank! I came to realize I do not like selling. At all. Which makes sense as I’m not very good at it. I’d rather stick with the designing, baking, creating and writing part, so I shut down the business to pour myself into blogging and books.”

 

2. Of the last two years of baking and blogging, what has been your favorite recipe you’ve posted?

“Oh, this is a tough one. While my favorite go-to for decorating sweets is drawing on marshmallows (so quick and easy!), my favorite post is a cookie, and one that doesn’t even take any cookie decorating skills to make: These warm and fuzzy heart pops I made for Valentine’s Day last year. I came up with the idea when I spotted a tub of cotton candy while waiting in a long line at Michaels. I whipped up the cookies and thought they were interesting at best and just plain weird at worst. I assumed most would just pass them by, but they are one of my most popular all-time posts. I absolutely underestimated my readers’ appreciation of quirky.
And if I can add more to the favorites: Pizza pops and mason jar meals. I do find it terribly curious that two of my favorite posts are two of the few non-sweets posts I’ve created. “

 

3. What’s your favorite element of blogging?

“Blogging gives creatives an outlet, a community and an audience. But what surprised me the most about what blogging has brought me is the people. I’ll quote myself here, from a recent post I wrote all about the ins and outs of blogging: “I never anticipated making true friends over the internet, encouraging, funny, smart and creative women I know through blogging. We exchange advice, jokes, tears… stunning, really, to have never met face to face.”

 

4. What do you think are some upcoming “trends” in baking goodies for 2012?

“Just when I think we’ve exhausted the creative possibilities for baked goods (cookie decorating, cupcakes, cakes, macarons….what’s next?) I’m proven wrong by all the cleverness out there. I think more people are adopting an “I can make that myself” approach to crafting with food, and the resources out there are growing to support us. The baking aisle in the craft store has doubled in the past couple years.  Cupcakes and cookies are here to stay, and we’ll push the decorating even further with more elaborate designs. I think we’ll do more and more with packaging and presentation—Push-Up Pops is a perfect example. And I also see bread art as a rising trend, something I’ve yet to try!”

 

5. What’s your typical day like? 

“It’s incredible how many hours must be devoted to blogging, especially as I contribute content to several sites. And writing and promoting a book is a whole other element to my day, so I squeeze work in when I can. Now that my daughter is in full-time preK, it’s changed a bit. We used to spend our days at the zoo, museums (both free in Washington DC), playgrounds… And then I would  work while she napped and after she went to bed. Now, the naps are no more, but the school day helps. I rise early and get an hour of work in before she wakes up. I get her off to school, which is a lengthy process, as she goes to a charter school off in downtown Washington DC. I work like mad for a few hours and run what errands are most urgent before picking her up in the afternoon. Then I usually work some more after she goes to bed.  And no matter what, I must, must, must watch TV and have a glass of wine  at the end of the day. It’s my I-don’t-feel-so-guilty-because-I-deserve-it pleasure. I’d like to say I also squeeze in rigorous workouts, laundry, house cleaning, crafting and elaborate meal preparation in my every day. I’d like to say that (Please notice I’m not actually saying that). But running around a playground is exercise, right? And sometimes I vary what shape pasta I boil for the “elaborate” part.”

 

6. Where do you get your baking inspiration?

Sources of inspiration online has grown exponentially in recent years. So many unique ideas have pushed bloggers and bakers to crazy heights. Just browsing the web, my favorite bloggers and sites, pinterest, of course, often spurs ideas. I pay attention to the types of treats being made, the tools people use, and the color combinations that strike me. I’m also very much guided by occasions (my daughter loves rainbow and unicorns, so that compelled me to make rainbow unicorn treats galore for her birthday, for example), holidays, seasons…  Having parameters to create a sweet serves me better than just coming up with something from thin air. Aah, we all need a bit of structure!

 

7. What one baking tool can you not live without?

If confectioner’s sugar can be considered a tool, then that is number one on my list! Every time I go to the supermarket I buy a big bagful, fearful I’ll run out. As a result, I have many bags of confectioner’s sugar. Many bags. But the tools that get the biggest workout in my kitchen are my KitchenAid mixer and my rolling pin.  Even my four-year old knows how to turn on the mixer and roll out dough. And if I can throw in a decorating tool, let that be disposable decorating bags. I buy them in sets of 100.

 

Visit The Decorated Cookie for lots of fabulous baking tips, ideas, and inspiration!
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About Courtney

Cookbook author and party stylist, Courtney Whitmore is also the editor of the popular party resource, Pizzazzerie. She's the author of the following cookbooks: Push-Up Pops, Candy Making For Kids, + Frostings.

Comments

  1. I am bias because Courtney and I are friends but she is definitely one to watch and one who has her finger on the pulse of all things party and baking wise. I am always impressed by her energy and I love mason jar meals! It’s a great idea and I’m seeing them everywhere!

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